Maybe you found a pair of shoes on sale for a third off the original price.
A lot of the deals you want are offered exclusively in the US.
It sure makes sense – there a lot of people living there who can afford to spend money.
But what about the men living outside that market, who can’t benefit from these good products at such low prices?
Shopping in the U.S. has its advantages, but many brands are not available anywhere else.
Some websites have the option to ship to another country, although at a high cost. Others don’t offer this option at all.
So what do you do?
How do you shop with any retailer in the US and get a product shipped to India, Germany, Australia, Chile, Russia or pretty much anywhere else in the world?
Is it at all possible and does it make any sense when you add all the costs associated with shipping and handling?
Yes, there are simple hacks to save money when shopping online.
Here are 9 ways to save money when shopping online:
#1 Use A PACKAGE FORWARDING Service
International shoppers are wary of shipping costs. You may have found a unique product at a competitive price only to have your decision to buy swayed by the high cost of shipping the product to your country.
Package forwarding services offer an alternative solution to save you on massive shipping costs.
Here’s the big picture of how this service works:
- You shop online with a US retailer and make a purchase.
- The package forwarding company receives it on your behalf at a free and unique US address assigned to you (where you can receive mail and packages of any size).
- They ship your order to your home country and you only pay them the price of shipping.
- This is cheaper because they mass ship so they get discounts and great rates with shipping companies.
In case you have ordered more than one item, it is best to wait for all your items to arrive before shipping them to your address. Your package will be repacked so that it takes the least amount of space and is, therefore cheaper.
The company that I have tested is called Viabox and it saved almost 70% on shipping fees to a package shipped from the US to Brussels.
The advantages of using a package forwarding service (like viabox.com):
- No deposits are required, you just pay for the shipment.
- Many payment methods are accepted, such as PayPal, Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and most other major Credit cards) and even bank wire transfers.
- The company can store each package free of charge for a period of 180 days from the date of delivery. If you are expecting multiple packages, save money by grouping them together.
- If the store you are shopping from requires a US credit card, a service like Viabox even offers to buy items for you via assisted purchase. This service is free of charge.
#2 Contact Companies Directly For Free Shipping & Discounts
Some companies will waive the shipping fee if you are willing to bill a significant amount and are willing to contact them directly.
Let’s say you’re about to drop $2,000 on clothing online. Use the online contact form and contact the company directly. Ask if they are willing to ship the items to you free of charge, considering your billing amount.
Most companies are willing to bear the cost of shipping provided your bill amount is substantial enough to justify the extra cost to them.
In my experience it works about 50% of the time.
#3 Be Familiar With The Brand
You want to be brand loyal.
When you find that brand that seems like it was made for your body, you can feel comfortable buying from them again without risking returns.
Shop around and look for different brands. Once you find a brand that works for you, stick with it to reduce the usual risks of buying online.
You can be assured that most of their outfits complements each other. More importantly, sticking with a brand you have already tested gives you the added confidence that the clothes will fit you and suit your lifestyle.
You can pick up an item that is on clearance without worrying about having to return it because the size is incorrect.
Additionally, if you are familiar with a brand’s calendar for the end of year or clearance sales, being patient until the right opportunity gives you plenty of opportunities to save money rather than buying full-priced items.
#4 Exceed The Minimum Free Shopping Threshold
Many stores offer free shipping if your bill crosses a certain minimum amount. Perhaps it’s worth your time and money to add an extra item to cover the minimum threshold that qualifies you for free shipping.
Adding a $5 pair of socks to an order is going to work in your favor in the future while possibly slashing your shipping costs by $20. That’s a flat $15 saving on shipping fee and you get a new pair of socks (and we know there’s always a need for socks in our wardrobe!)
Your order may qualify for free on websites such as AmazonGlobal Shipping if it is over a certain threshold amount and being shipped to an eligible country. Items can be shipped to over 75 countries that participate in the Amazon Global program.
#5 The Free Return Shipping Approach
You want to get the fit right and most companies understand this.
Some retailers, such as shoe merchants Zappos, offer free return shipping. In fact, Zappos pioneered this approach with their shoes because they understood the customer’s frustration with a purchase if the size is not right.
Returning packages can add an extra expense and is usually a drain on your time. In my book, time is money.
Which is why I would choose a retailer like Mott & Bow – they offer to refund international shoppers for a pair of jeans if they don’t fit. All you have to do is return the ill-fitting pair of jeans, make a fresh order with a different size and request a refund on your original order. Your money on the original bill is refunded as soon as the company receives your returned package.
Knowing a retailer’s return policy can help you save money if you’re not completely satisfied your purchase.
#6 Know Your Measurements
Returning clothes or shoes that don’t fit are one of the biggest hassles of online shopping. Knowing your measurements helps you get it right the first time.
Many brands have different sizing standards. A size ‘M’ with one brand is not necessarily the same measurements as a size ‘M’ with another brand.
I know my size and whenever I buy online I make a smart purchasing decision by sticking to items that are the right fit. Having to deal with the returns is a waste of time and money.
Find a clothing brand that fits your exact measurements. You need to know what type of clothing fits you and you need to find a brand that works for your body type.
Before clicking on ‘buy,’ compare your measurements with the numbers provided on the details chart for the clothing item.
If the information is not available, reach out to the customer service channels and ask for the specifications.
#7 Join The Insider Club
By signing up for a membership program with an online retailer, you get early access to sales and special discounts.
Like or Follow your favorite brands on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to be notified of flash sales, VIP promotions and clearance sales.
Many large clothing companies, including Banana Republic and the Gap post special coupons or announce sales on their Facebook pages.
#8 Use The Right Credit Card
Regular Amazon customer?
Shop through the Amazon Rewards Visa card to earn 3 points for every dollar spent.
You even get a $50 sign up bonus. Points can be exchanged for free shipping, exclusive access to flash-sales and a number of other perks.
If you have a preferred portal to shop online, check for the credit card companies that they are partnered with.
Join your favorite retailers’ loyalty programs, and don’t forget to enter your loyalty number each time you shop. You can earn money back on your purchases, plus other great deals.
#9 Pay Attention To The Taxes And Fees
Imagine how you would feel if you purchased a high-quality hair pomade from the U.K. and when the package arrives at your doorstep, you notice a $20 import fee slapped on to the bill!
It is important to be aware of the import fees.
Major carriers like FedEx, UPS, and USPS offer tools that make it possible to calculate the total cost when you are ready to check out with your purchase.
Companies like Grand Frank ships everything from China to avoid taxes and fees
Shopping online should be a fun experience. Do your research before committing to hefty shipping costs and full-retail price on clothing items.